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74<                                          LIFE   OF
the severe English blockade detained tuom two
months and a half in Cxirnaiia, during which time
Huinboldt was occupied with botanical, astro uoxnieaL,
and meteorological inquiries, and with geological, in-
vestigation of*" the peninsula of Araya. At last, on
the 16th of November, 1800, he left Gumaua for
New Barcelona, to start from there with au Ameri-
can vessel; and he says himself that ho could not
gaze for the last time on the tops of the cocoa palms
011 the shores of the Manzanarca, faintly illumuuvtcdT
by the moon,, without deep emotion,
The ship raised anchor on the 2:;t<th of Nov< mi} >or>
and, spite of the late season, reached Irlavaimah on tho
19tli of December. Humboldt shortened the long,
unpleasant voyage by observations of the Boa and
sky. Their collections had been sent to Europe and
Humboldt arid Bonplantl did not Imagine that thoy
would never see a portion of them again. Their Btay
in Cuba lasted several months, during which Hum-
boldt was principally occupied with oxaTmimig tho
extent, soil, climate, culture, arid popxilation of thi&
queen of the Antilles, as well as with the condition
of the slaves, historically and morally considered,, and
with agriculture.
On the point of going to Yera Crass to complete
their above named gigantic expedition over Mexico^
AcapulcOj the Philippine Islands, and thence homo
over Bombay, Bassota/Aleppo, and Constantinople,
Humboldt perceived from newspaper accounts that
Captain Baudin, whom he had promised by letter
"before his departure from Cormma that he would join
him from any place he might be if he heard that MB
delayed expedition was realised,, had really left Ifraneo
for Bxieiios Ayres3 with the intention of rounding the
Cape, and then coasting along Chili and Porxu As
Hoimboldt had declared his purpose of joining tho
captain publicly, before the Mxisoum In Paris, the
desire to search for him became urgent, especially as
he anticipated more important and more extouwive
results from his journey if lie could proBocmtu his in-
quiries in conjunction with the JEPrench #avan& who